War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 1105 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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the supposition that you could hold the line of the Rappahannock. If that line cannot be held, it alters the case. You must therefore follow your good judgment..

Very respectfully, &c.,.

R. E. LEE,.

General, Commanding..

HEADQUARTERS,.

Richmond, Va., March 17, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,.

Commanding Army of the Potomac:.

GENERAL: General Magruder has applied to be re-enforced in cavalry, and asks that the Lunenburg Cavalry from Fredericksburg be sent him, in addition to other companies which he names. Can you spare the services of this company, or is there any cavalry in your command whose services you could dispense with for this purpose? There is none unassigned with which to re-enforce him..

I am, &c.,.

R. E. LEE,.

General, Commanding..

RICHMOND, VA., March 17, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,.

Commanding, &c., Culpeper Coart-House, Va.:

GENERAL: I received yesterday from General Holmes a letter dated 14th distant, of which the accompanying is a copy..

I presume he has already communicated with you on the subject, but as the matter is briefly and distinctly stated, I have thought it might be convenient to you to consider it in the manner presented. In a letter of the 16th General Holmes also reports that Hooker's division had crossed the Potomac at Evansport, and that a column of 5,000 or 6,000 of the enemy had reached Brentsville from the direction of Manassas. Dumfries was occupied in force, but whether from Evansport or via Occoquan he did not know. He states that the enemy landed a part of his force below Chopawamsic,k and marched up that creek to where it is crossed by the Telegraph road. He considers these movements indicate a purpose of the enemy to concentrate his force for an attack on Fredericksburg, and that unless he can be defeated before reaching it, the town could not be held an hour after the occupation of the hills on the opposite bank of the river..

From what is stated of the condition of the roads I hardly think an immediate movement against Fredericksburg can be made; nor am I aware of anything that indicates with any degree of certainly what route the enemy will adopt in his march towards Richmond..

You have doubtless considered the subject with reference to your operations, and made your arrangements as to the points to be held and defended..

I am, &c.,.

R. E. LEE,.

General, Commanding..

70 R R-VOL V.